German Yellow Butter Cake Recipe

There are many variations of a German butter cake recipe. Some have a cinnamon and sugar topping or are sprinkled with flaked almonds.

However, one thing a yellow butter cake has in common is that before the cake is baked, flakes of butter are placed in small hollows in the dough. Bake my German cake and invite friends round for coffee!

German Butterkuchen

For the dough:
500g (1 1b)flour
125g (5oz)sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar
1 cube (0.6oz) fresh yeast
pinch of salt
1 dessert spoon (1/2 tablespoon) butter
250ml (1 cup) lukewarm milk
1 egg

For the topping:
100g (4oz) sugar
60g (2 1/2 oz) butter
milk for brushing



Put the flour and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the middle using a spoon and then crumble the yeast into it. Add 4 dessert spoons of the warm milk and then stir.

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen cloth and leave in a warm draught free place for 10 minutes.

Lastly add the egg, vanilla sugar, butter, salt and the remaining milk. Mix with a hand mixer using the dough attachments until the dough comes away from the edges.

Cover again and leave the dough to rest for another half an hour.

Knead the dough on a floured board.

Roll out the dough on the greased baking sheet using a rolling pin. Press into shape, the edges can be a little thicker.

Using your finger press in straight rows 1cm deep hollows in the dough.

In each hollow place just a knife point of butter.

Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle with sugar so that it is completely covered. Bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C.

Put your feet up with a cup of coffee and enjoy your yellow butter cake.


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Zachary - USA

Tremendous website. I lived in Germany for almost 14 years. Your recipes have me excited about getting back into German cooking. Thanks so much!

How To Make Vanilla SugarMake your own vanilla sugar to use in German cakes, cookies and German dessert recipes.